Neurophysiologic Signatures of Trigeminal Neuralgia Pain

Neurophysiologic Signatures of Trigeminal Neuralgia Pain

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is an idiopathic pain disorder that is characterized by episodic attacks of intense facial pain, described as paroxysms of stabbing, electric, or explosive pain, and lasting for a few seconds or longer, often producing a tic-like facial movement, and can occur up to hundreds of times per day. This pain is known to be one of the worst pain conditions that a patient can suffer and has been called the "suicide disease". Given the severity of this disorder, determining the cause becomes essential for finding a cure. This project will study the cause of TN using a translational approach, which means the research project will be completed in both humans and animals. The investigators hypothesize that there are specific areas of the brain and spinal cord that will provide a "signature" center of activity. The study team will use state of the art magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines and other non-invasive brain activity measurements, including electroencephalography (EEG) to locate these centers in people with TN before and after their pain has started. Recent studies have investigated the effects of transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) for pain control. Transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) includes transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS). This approach is important because identifying similar regions neural activity will allow for us to study novel therapies in search of the cure for TN and this study has thus both basic and clinical neuroscience significance.

No pharmaceutical medication involved
Patients and healthy individuals accepted

Procedure - transcranial electrical brain stimulation

Pain ratings will be recorded before and after transcranial brain electrical stimulation procedures using a Visual Analog Scale (VAS).

Mapping Towards a Cure - Identification of Neurophysiologic Signatures of Trigeminal Neuralgia Pain